Mushroom hunting (picking) is quite popular in North Slavic countries. Wild, edible mushrooms are an important ingredient of traditional Slavic cuisine. They can be served in many ways – in soups, sauces, dumplings, cutlets, salads, with scrambled eggs, fresh, boiled, fried, stewed, pickled, marinated, dried, etc. The best way to get those popular delicacies is to go mushroom hunting.
Before you go mushrooming
keep in mind these 5 easy to remember rules:
- Gather mushrooms you know and eat only the one you have positively identified yourself.
- If you’re not 120% certain that a certain fungus is edible, check it in the mushroom atlas. Remember: „A combat engineer and a mushroom picker can make a mistake only once”…
- When picking a mushroom try not to destroy its mycelium. Twist it or cut the mushroom leg as low as you want to.
- Don’t destroy toadstools. Even if inedible or poisonous for humans, it still has important role to play in the forest’s ecosystem.
- Collect mushrooms in natural, well-ventilated container. A simple wicker basket is the best choice.
Lactarius deliciosus is my favorite European mushroom – it’s DELICIOUS indeed!
After spending one year in Japan I have suddenly discovered another favorite mushroom, called maitake (舞茸). Maitake has a very strong and nice flavor, but unfortunately it cannot be picked in Europe, not because it doesn’t grow here, but because it’s on Red List of endangered species. Well, it seems I need to go back to Japan from time to time 😉
And how about you, what’s your favorite mushroom?